EAR SEED THERAPY
EAR SEED THERAPY
WHAT IS EAR SEED THERAPY (耳穴疗法）?
Ear Seed Therapy is a form of auriculotherapy based on the concept that our ears structurally represent the position of an inverted fetus, and thus contain a map of the entire body’s system. Acupressure on certain auricular points will stimulate our body’s nervous system to help with pain, anxiety, digestion, and more. As the ear contains many nerves and blood vessels that connect the brain to various organs, ear seed therapy provides a strong stimulation, making it one of the most effective treatments for pain and other health conditions.
Ear seeds are small seeds often from the Vaccaria plant (王不留行), or other materials such as ceramics and stainless steel. They are typically applied to specific points on the ear using adhesive tape or a small plaster and are pressed or massaged to stimulate the corresponding acupoint to regulate Qi and blood flow. The ear seeds can be kept on for the next 3 to 5 days to extend the effects. Some people use ear seeds to help with various health conditions, such as pain, anxiety, and smoking cessation.
Ear seed therapy is often used as an alternative for people who have a phobia of needles, or as a complimentary treatment to acupuncture to enhance the effects of acupuncture.
How does Ear Seed Therapy Work?
Ear seeds stimulate specific points on the ear, known as acupuncture points, which are thought to correspond to different parts of the body. According to TCM, these points are connected to channels, or meridians, through which energy (Qi) flows. It is believed that imbalances or blockages in Qi flow can cause a range of health problems, including pain, anxiety, and digestive issues.
The process involves consultation with the physician who will examine your ear for distinct physical attributes. It is known that features like the shape, colour, size, and sensation of the ear can indicate certain deficiency or imbalance in your body that causes health issues.
How does Ear Seed Therapy Treat Pain?
Ear seed therapy is a natural alternative to pain medication. According to TCM, pain is caused by the obstruction of Qi and Blood flow in the meridians due to external influences like wind, heat, cold, or trauma as well as internal health conditions such as weakened liver, spleen, or immune system. Ear seed therapy promotes pain relief through the following ways:
- Remove Qi blockages by stimulating specific acupoints on the ear, promoting blood flow
- Reduce pain perception by releasing endorphins that inhibit pain signals from transmitting to the brain
- Strengthen soft tissues to prevent frequent injuries common in acute pain
- Increase immune cells count to expedite the body’s healing abilities
- Increase pain tolerance through the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines
PAIN CONDITIONS EAR SEED THERAPY CAN BE USED FOR
PAIN CONDITIONS EAR SEED THERAPY CAN BE USED FOR
How does Ear Seed Therapy Treat Other Symptoms?
According to TCM, physical or emotional issues derive from an imbalance in yin-yang energy. Ear seed therapy aims to target the root of your problems by regulating yin-yang balance. This provides a range of benefits, including:
- Anxiety and stress reduction: Stimulation of acupoints like the Shen men (神门) can regulate your body’s production of stress hormones, taming the fight or flight response.
- Smoking cessation: Ear seeds are known to reduce cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms by stimulating the release of endorphins to induce relaxation, restoring a self-regulating balance.
- Improved sleep: Regulate the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep cycle. Ear seeds can also relax and mind and body to ease you to sleep.
- Improved digestion: Regulate the production of digestive enzymes and increase blood flow to the digestive organs. This can also help to reduce symptoms of indigestion such as bloating and constipation.
- Weight loss: Alongside improving digestion, ear seeds stimulate the stomach point to reduce the secretion of gastric acid, which helps to relieve feelings of hunger. Ear seeds can also increase your metabolism, a useful complement to other weight loss efforts
- Reduce high blood pressure by regulating the Qi in your kidney, spleen, liver, and heart.
Why Choose Us?
Singapore Paincare TCM Wellness integrates an east-west approach to our treatments for a better outcome. Our physicians and therapists undergo multiple trainings at Singapore Paincare Academy (administered by Singapore Paincare Medical Group) to gain a better understanding of clinical conditions so that together with their TCM expertise, they are able to help patients recover.
Are Ear Seeds Safe to Use?
Ear seeds are generally considered safe to use when applied by a trained practitioner. However, it’s important to note that ear seeds should not be applied to the ear if you have a punctured eardrum or an ear infection. It’s also important to be cautious if you have allergies or sensitivities to certain materials, such as the adhesive tape used to apply the ear seeds to your ear. If you experience skin irritation or redness around the ear after applying the seeds, remove them immediately.
If you’re considering using ear seeds, it’s a good idea to consult with a licensed acupuncturist to determine whether ear seeds are appropriate for you and to ensure that they are applied correctly. They can help you determine the best points to stimulate and the appropriate number and frequency of treatments.
Why use Ear Seed Therapy When It Has Similar Effects to Acupuncture?
In all treatment methods, we have this term called the therapeutic response. Body acupuncture is administered in the clinic by the physician, which usually lasts around 20-30 minutes. The therapeutic response peaks and then subsides in several hours. Nowadays, patients are busy and are unable to come into the clinic frequently to maintain the therapeutic response. With ear seed therapy, patients can go home with the ear seeds which they can stimulate on their own, which can complement the effects of body acupuncture for the next few days. It is a convenient, affordable, and non-invasive treatment that often yields positive results.
Can Ear Seed Therapy be Ued with Other TCM Treatment Methods?
Yes, ear seeds can be used in conjunction with other traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatments, such as acupuncture and herbal medicine. In fact, ear seeds enhance the therapeutic effect of body acupuncture, particularly when the practitioner is unable to apply needles to a particular area due to sensitivity or other factors. Some of our services that can be paired with ear seed therapy are acupuncture, Qi’Nergy Tuina, Paediatric Tuina, and our Women’s Health Treatment.
Can I Apply Ear Seeds on My Own?
While you can stimulate the auricular point on your own, the application of the ear seeds should be done by a licensed physician. As there are more than 20 over auricular points with varying functions, it is likely that you would apply the ear seed to the wrong acupoint or are unaware of the full effects of certain acupoints. It could lead to ineffective treatments or even create more health problems. Hence, an experienced physician is the best person to determine and locate the specific acupoints that will target your symptoms effectively. Physicians will also be able to teach you the appropriate massage technique to avoid abrasions so that you can stimulate the acupoints at home safely.